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Falcons' Freeman doesn't plan on being a backup

Devonta Freeman couldn't care less who the Falcons drafted.

Atlanta's second-year running back took first-team reps during Tuesday's OTAs and doesn't plan to hand those carries away to third-rounder Tevin Coleman.

"This means a lot to me," Freeman said, per The Associated Press. "This has always been my dream. I never had a dream to come to the NFL and play second to no man."

Freeman told reporters Tuesday that he "didn't really take a break" this offseason, working instead with a trainer in Miami, saying: "I went hard. ... I just went full-throttle. I didn't take days off. Football is all I know and all I love. ... I was always working."

The rookie Coleman turned heads in April when he declared, minutes after being drafted: "I'm going to come in there and I'm going to get the starting spot."

Freeman, though, has impressed new coach Dan Quinn, who says the 5-foot-8, 206-pounder is more than just a good pass-catcher out of the backfield.

"Now to add what he is doing in the run game, I can't wait to watch him work," Quinn said. "He doesn't back down from anything. That's one of the things I like about Devonta the most. He gets every challenge and 'Yep, I'm ready for the next one.' That's one of the things I really do admire about him and his game."

The Falcons' backfield will remain under the microscope all offseason, especially from a fantasy perspective. New play-caller Kyle Shanahan loves leaning on the ground game and isn't afraid to hand the ball to first-year runners -- one reason why we see Coleman as a genuine threat to Freeman's workload.

Shanny coached a 1,200-yard season out of Texans rookie Steve Slaton in 2008 before milking 1,613 yards out of Redskins rookie Alfred Morris in 2012. Last season, Shanahan used a pair of first-year backs -- Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell -- to anchor Cleveland's ground game.

It's May and this race has just begun, but we already prefer this year's Falcons backfield to what Atlanta fielded a season ago.

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